It’s difficult to heal from trauma – whether you’re a human, dog, or cat.
Scarred from her past of being used as a bait dog, a rescued pit bull would discover the healing power of friendship – and donuts.
Keep reading to hear about how one dog is given a deserving second chance, and the friendships she makes along the way.
A Bark in the Dark
Yazmin, owner of Mr. Snow’s Bowties and founder of Tips and Whiskers, was taking out the trash in an alley behind her home in Riverside, California.
Just as she turned around to head back to the house, she heard a low growl and loud bark.
In the darkness, Yazmin could see a large head. A very large, intimidating head. She was terrified.
“The next thing I know, something was tugging at my pants,” recalled Yazmin.
Yazmin’s fear instantly disappeared. Looking up at her was a scared, skinny pit bull. She would later be named Luna.
“Her head didn’t match her body. Her head was a big pit bull head, but her body was skin and bone. She had bite marks, her ears were gnawed on,” Yazmin said as she held back tears.
Yazmin was determined to help this dog, but she wasn’t sure how she was going to do it.
Yazmin had a house full of dogs and had just rescued two cats that would be joining their family.
She didn’t have room to take Luna in. Yazmin called rescue after rescue.
One by one, they told Yazmin they couldn’t take Luna because she was most likely a bait dog, used to train fighting dogs.
“Nobody wanted to take her,” recalled Yazmin. “They said she’s probably a bait dog, we’re not able to house anything like that right now. We don’t have time for her.”
Then, one shelter said they would take Luna.
That glimmer of hope was immediately crushed when they told Yazmin she would most likely be euthanized if they took her in.
Putting Her Foot Down
Upset, and not sure what to do, Yazmin got in the car with Luna to head to the shelter, hoping a better option may miraculously surface.
They got to the shelter, and Yazmin sat in her car for a bit, thinking. She couldn’t bear to leave Luna’s fate up to chance.
Yazmin couldn’t hold back her tears, and that’s when Luna spoke to Yazmin in the only words she had.
“She went from the backseat to my passenger side, and she put her head on my lap. And that’s when I knew I could not do that to her,” said Yazmin.
Right then and there, Yazmin decided that if she couldn’t find a place where Luna fit, she would make one.
Road to Recovery
Yazmin turned the car around. She wouldn’t be going to the shelter.
Her and Luna were going to go to the vet to get Luna the medical care she needed.
After getting her wounds cleaned and sealed, Luna rested for a few days in Yazmin’s bathroom.
Slowly, Luna was introduced to the rest of her new family – Yazmin’s husband, four dogs, and two cats.
During the introductions, it was clear to Yazmin that Luna had suffered severe trauma.
“My husband could not come close to her,” Yazmin recalled. “She would hide right away. She would hurt herself running trying to find a place to hide in the house. She would pee herself if he would say anything that was loud.”
It would take Luna an entire year before she would interact with Yazmin’s husband, but she was quickly bonding with the other animals in the house.
Luna was slowly learning to make friends in her new home when suddenly one day a new best friend came through the door.
The Best of Friends
A few months after rescuing Luna, Yazmin brought in a feral white cat whom she had named Mr. Snow.
Luna wasn’t sure how she felt about most newcomers, but she instantly had her mind made up about Mr. Snow.
“Right away Luna started bonding with Snow. It was really crazy. They were just together all the time,” recalled Yazmin. “They were laying together. She was licking him, he was grooming her.”
With the introduction of a new best friend, Luna’s behavior began to change with the other members of the house.
She was settling in, trusting her new family.
“When Snow started to come into the picture, I feel like it made her feel more at ease to have a friend there. With him, she was different,” said Yazmin.
Mr. Snow comforted Luna and began to show Luna that Yazmin’s husband could be trusted.
Luna would go to Snow when she was scared of Yazmin’s husband.
But Mr. Snow would go for a pet from Yazmin’s husband, showing Luna that it was okay.
“Seeing my husband pet Snow made her feel better and that’s how he was able to build a relationship with her,” said Yazmin.
Mr. Snow and Luna were building a special bond, one that was helping them both heal from a troubled past.
Everybody Loves Donuts
With love from her human and fur family, Luna was healing inside and out. But, she still had triggers that would upset her.
Luna amazed Yazmin.
Yazmin realized that Luna had found a coping mechanism to help her work through her trauma.
“If she found something that she could grab onto, like a blanket or a sock, or anything, it kind of made her feel safe,” said Yazmin. “So, I started buying her toys and blankets, and everywhere she went, she would carry her blanket!”
However, Luna eventually set down the blanket for an even more comforting toy – a donut.
The toy donut helps her feel grounded when she’s stressed, and comfortable when she’s happy.
Today, if Luna has a toy around her, you can bet that it’s a donut!
“Ever since she has found her own way of healing through all of this trauma, toys and holding things in her mouth help her a lot. Snow helped her a lot as well,” said Yazmin.
Happily Ever After
Despite the unlikely friendship of a feral cat and a previous pit bull bait dog, Mr. Snow and Luna remain the best of friends.
“My original goal was not to keep Luna, but when she became super bonded with Snow and their personalities came out when they were together, I could not separate them anymore,” said Yazmin.
It was clear that Luna and Mr. Snow needed each other.
“I feel like they helped each other heal. Because Snow became very social after that, and they kind of both flourished in our household when they found each other,” said Yazmin.
Sometimes, the most unlikely friendships are the ones that have the biggest impact.
We are so thankful that Yazmin decided to make a place for Luna when no one else would.
Follow Yazmin on Instagram to see more of Mr. Snow and Luna’s adventures!